Bankers welcome RBI stance amid Omicron fears, measures on digital payments

  • | Wednesday | 8th December, 2021

Mumbai, Dec 8 (PTI) The RBI"s accommodative stance and retaining the GDP growth estimate at 9.5 per cent despite the Omicron variant, along with regulatory measures on the digital payments side, were welcomed by the bankers on Wednesday. Reacting to the bi-monthly policy review, in which the rate-setting panel opted for a status quo on rates, industry lobby Indian Banks" Association"s chairman and managing director and chief executive of the state-run UCO Bank, A K Goel, said the measures were as expected. "There is no change in the growth and inflation projections of the RBI for the current fiscal despite changes in the macroeconomic scenario. That is indeed a positive sign," he added. Through its initiatives on digital payments, the RBI is giving a signal to encourage people to use the digital mode, he said, and also welcomed the central bank"s acknowledgment of IBA"s representations on the Libor transition. Largest lender SBI"s chairman Dinesh Khara said the announcement on capital infusion in overseas branches without prior approval of RBI will bring in operational and seamless flexibility, and the decision to review the payment landscape and further fine-tuning UPI transfer for small value transactions could act as an enabler of mass digitisation. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) chief executive Dilip Asbe tweeted saying the aim of 1 billion transactions a day is not very far. On the enhancement in UPI limits for IPO, he said the NPCI"s platform has expanded the IPO market and with today"s measure, can become a core of IPO investments in the country. Largest private sector lender HDFC Bank"s chief economist Abheek Barua said the policy was "more dovish than expected" and the central bank has provided little to provide any forward guidance on the path of future policy rate increases. "The policy decision today tilted on the side of caution, continuing its support for growth and sounding caution on the omicron risk," he said. Foreign lender Standard Chartered Bank"s cluster chief executive for India and South Asia markets, Zarin Daruwala, said the MPC"s pro-growth stance came out very clearly and this augurs well for the economy, which is recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Among the non-bank lenders, Rajiv Sabharwal of Tata Capital reacted to the policy saying the economy has gained growth momentum over the last six months but RBI will want to further nurture a broad-based recovery and will also aim at the sustainability of the same. Religare Enterprises" executive chairperson Rashmi Saluja said an unchanged repo rate augurs well for home buyers and small businesses as they can benefit from the low rates. PTI AA ABM SHW SHW

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